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July 7, 2008, 8:29 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - When the Senate reconvenes in September, Democratic leaders hope to pass a bill forcing insurers to offer equal in-network coverage for mental health care, but critics warn federal mandates won't improve mental health care.Congress already passed a health care parity law back in 1996 that prohibited health insurers who offer coverage for mental illnesses from setting different annual and lifetime benefits for those illnesses than they do for physical illnesses.
July 7, 2008, 8:29 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - The latest round of child tax credits has raised the ire of fiscal conservatives in Congress. Combined with the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), it seems that some workers who owe no income tax will be getting a big windfall, courtesy of Uncle Sam.That makes for bad tax and welfare policy, say critics like House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) and the Republican Study Committee (RSC), a caucus of House conservatives.
July 7, 2008, 8:29 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - The next Congress should repeal a provision in the homeland security bill that protects drug companies like Eli Lilly from lawsuits, urged a handful of lawmakers and autism activists at a Wednesday press conference.Proponents of the provision, however, argue that lawsuit immunity is necessary to make sure that companies continue to offer life-saving vaccines to combat bio-terrorism.
July 7, 2008, 8:29 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - Political watchers are questioning the motives of Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) after he took to the Senate floor Wednesday to accuse President Bush of politicizing a possible war with Iraq. Daschle took the president to task for a Tuesday speech that concerned not Iraq but the on-going White House fight with the Senate over the bill to create a new Department of Homeland Security. The battle is over whether workers in the new agency will be employed "at will" or, like many federal workers, be subject to union collective bargaining.
July 7, 2008, 8:29 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - America's courts have taken over the legislative role of regulating whole industries, many court watchers and state lawmakers believe. The difficult question, they said Wednesday, is how to reverse the trend.It is "one of the most fundamental concerns that we as legislators should have," and it amounts to "the taking away of our legislative powers," said Virginia Delegate William J. Howell, speaker of the state House of Delegates. He addressed fellow lawmakers at the annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in Washington, D.C.
July 7, 2008, 8:29 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - President Bush on Thursday called for Congress to pass a law limiting non-economic, punitive damages in medical malpractice suits to $250,000."Our medical liability system is broken," the president told a Scranton, Pa., audience. "A broken system like that first and foremost hurts the patients and the people of America," he said, because "junk lawsuits" drive up malpractice insurance premiums and drive innocent doctors out of town.
July 7, 2008, 8:29 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - A day after Tennessee Democratic Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. backed away from sponsoring a Social Security reform bill containing personal retirement accounts, he denied being pressured to do so and said his decision was based on the cost of the legislation."I love this concept" of allowing workers to invest their Social Security taxes in personal retirement accounts, thereby allowing low-income workers to enter the equity market and build wealth, Ford told CNSNews.com on Wednesday.
July 7, 2008, 8:29 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - The ever-more-crowded field of Democratic presidential hopefuls will be busy seeking the endorsement of labor unions headed into next year's primaries.In fact, Democratic presidential candidates are headed to Hollywood Beach, Fla., next week to woo union officials at the AFL-CIO's three-day conference.
July 7, 2008, 8:29 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - The U.S. Senate Tuesday dealt a blow to the president's economic stimulus plan and its centerpiece $726 billion, ten-year dividend tax cut.After failing last week to eliminate half of the president's tax relief package, opponents regrouped Tuesday and passed, 51 to 48, an amendment to the 2004 budget resolution that would ostensibly redirect over half of the tax relief ($350 billion) to a reserve fund to "strengthen the Social Security trust funds over the long term."
July 7, 2008, 8:29 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - The Senate and House are toiling away on different versions of the president's dividend tax cut. But the Senate is looking to offset some of the tax cut with tax increases. That has tax cut supporters angry.The tax cut package introduced by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) totals $415 billion, including $91 billion allotted for the president's dividend tax cut.
July 7, 2008, 8:29 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - Republican Gov. Jeb Bush Tuesday successfully fended off a challenge from Democratic trial lawyer Bill McBride to win re-election in a race that Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe had declared his party's number one priority this year. But Democrats will get the keys to the governors' offices in three mega-states - Michigan, Pennsylvania and Illinois.
July 7, 2008, 8:29 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - Republicans may lose their monopoly on the top state offices in Texas, despite the fact that President Bush remains popular in his home state, political analysts said.The outcome of two key races could also diminish the GOP's national agenda. After all, not only is the party defending 23 of 36 governorships to be voted on this November, but one loss in the evenly divided U.S. Senate could mean the difference between regaining control of the chamber or else continuing under Majority Leader Tom Daschle's (D-S.D.) agenda.
July 7, 2008, 8:29 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - Steel consumers and Michigan lawmakers pleaded their case before the U.S. International Trade Commission on Thursday, hoping the agency will recommend that the Bush administration lift steel tariffs imposed in 2002.
July 7, 2008, 8:29 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - If Democrats want to point fingers for their dismal showing in the 2002 elections, they should start with former President Bill Clinton, according to Republican consultant Alex Castellanos.Despite Clinton's fundraising prowess, Democrats are reeling because the former president has "stolen their soul," attempting to be on both sides of every issue, Castellanos said. Democrats are currently lurching left, he added, evidenced by Al Gore's surprise advocacy for universal health care.
July 7, 2008, 8:29 PM EDT
Phoenix (CNSNews.com) - Gun rights activists say the outcome of the 2002 mid-term election will be critical in determining the fate of a handful of important gun bills pending in Congress.Issues that hang in the balance include arming airline pilots; not placing undue regulations on private or gun show sales; preempting municipal lawsuits against gun manufacturers; repealing the Clinton-era ban on certain semi-automatic guns; and preventing efforts to ban .50-caliber rifles.
July 7, 2008, 8:29 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - New York Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton Friday praised the efforts of a fledgling liberal lawyers' group to counter the influence of the decades-old free market Federalist Society. During a luncheon address to the "American Constitution Society for Law and Policy," Clinton seized another opportunity to blast the "vast right-wing conspiracy," saying she only regretted implying it was a secretive effort.
July 7, 2008, 8:29 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - The Bush administration's coziness with Mexican President Vicente Fox is causing some members of the Republican Party to express frustration over immigration policy.
July 7, 2008, 8:29 PM EDT
(Editor's Note: This is another in the series of profiles of Democrats running for their party's 2004 presidential nomination.)(CNSNews.com) - Some polls show her in the middle of the pack, still trailing the Democratic presidential campaign frontrunner by a hefty margin, but ahead of current members of Congress. Other recent polls show her near the bottom, with 2 or 3 percent support. Still, Carol Mosely Braun insists she is "uniquely qualified to do the job of president."
July 7, 2008, 8:29 PM EDT
Capitol Hill (CNSNews.com) - Democrats and liberal groups have unrelentingly characterized the president's dividend tax cut proposal as a tax give-away to the wealthy, with little benefit to the economy or lower- and middle-income Americans.But according to calculations by the Tax Foundation, not only would Bush's dividend tax cut spur long-term economic growth, but it would also mean zero federal income tax liability for an additional three million families. That's due primarily to expansion of the child tax credit from $600 to $1,000 per child.
July 7, 2008, 8:29 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - With strong support from the White House, Republicans hope to restore most, if not all, of the tax cuts removed from the Senate budget package in a surprising 51-48 vote on Tuesday."Let's see what the ultimate outcome is," said White House spokesman Ari Fleischer after senators dealt an unexpected blow to the president''s economic stimulus plan and its centerpiece $726 billion, 10-year dividend tax cut."That vote is not the final vote," he stated. "There are many more to come."